Background: Lung ischemia–reperfusion injury (LIRI) may occur in the region of the affected lung after reperfusion therapy. Inhaled NO may be useful in treating acute and chronic pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) due to the biological effect property of NO. Methods: A PTE canine model was established through selectively embolizing blood clots to an intended right lower lobar pulmonary artery. PaO2/FiO2, the mPAP and PVR were investigated at the time points of 2, 4, 6 hours after inhaled NO. Masson’s trichrome stain, apoptotic pneumocytes and lung sample ultrastructure were also investigated among different groups. Results: The PaO2/FiO2 in the Inhaled NO group increased significantly when compared with the Reperfusion group at time points of 4 and 6 hours after reperfusion, mPAP decreased significantly at point of 2 hours and the PVR decreased significantly at point of 6 hours after reperfusion. The amounts of apoptotic type II pneumocytes in the lower lobar lung have negative correlation trend with the arterial blood PaO2/FiO2 in Reperfusion group and Inhaled NO group. Inhaled nitric oxide given at 20 ppm for 6 hours can significantly alleviate the LIRI in the model. Conclusions: Dramatic physiological improvements are seen during the therapeutic use of inhaled NO in pulmonary thromboembolism canine model. Inhaled NO may be useful in treating LIRI in acute or chronic PTE by alleviating apoptotic type II pneumocytes. This potential application warrants further investigation.